Letters from our readers – Page 9

  • Opinion

    Letters: June 2011


    In reference to your recent editorial (Chemistry World, May 2011, p2) where the ethics of biofuels are discussed, we believe it is misleading to suggest that deforestation and the displacement of indigenous people are a result of biofuel production. It is accepted that logging is the primary cause of these ...

  • Opinion

    Letters: May 2011


    There are many ways of discovering truth. The scientific method is one of the best. It depends on the carrying out of repeatable experiments. Science cannot really deal with a unique event. So I am surprised that Philip Ball (Chemistry World, April 2011, p33) dismisses so easily the practicality of ...

  • Opinion

    Letters: April 2011


    With regard to your piece on 60 years of innovation (Chemistry World, March 2011, p38). Can I put in a plea for recognition of the pioneering work carried out in the UK on liquid crystal displays (LCDs) in the years following 1970. Following some early work on displays in the ...

  • Opinion

    Letters: March 2011


    David Jones in ’Sparks of illumination’ (Chemistry World, January 2011, p80) lists three sparkers: iron, titanium and cerium, but he does not refer to the actinide metals, neither does he refer to pyrite, FeS2. The name pyrite is derived from the Greek in allusion to the sparks emitted when it ...

  • Opinion

    Letters: February 2011


    With the climate change problem increasing by the day, the apparent lack of urgency exemplified by the European Union’s renewable energy programme (Chemistry World, December 2010, p8), with the ’first allocations of funding in the second half of 2012’ is surely disturbing. The longer we delay, the more the ’catch-up’ ...

  • Opinion

    Letters: January 2011


    I was delighted to see the glass industry under examination in The last retort (Chemistry World, November 2010, p78). However, I was surprised at David Jones’ lack of understanding of materials’ properties and the current state-of-the-art in the glass industry. Glass is actually a relatively good thermal insulator; an ...

  • Opinion

    Letters: December 2010


    I was interested to read Harry Kroto’s account of graphite losing its lubricating properties in a vacuum (Chemistry World, November 2010, p37). When I was working for Morganite Carbon in the early 1960s I saw a demonstration of an electric motor running inside a bell jar. When pressure was ...

  • Opinion

    Letters: November 2010


    Clifford Jones proposes that the world’s trees, taken collectively, absorb large amounts of atmospheric CO2 (Chemistry World, October 2010, p34). How can this be true? Any climax ecology, whether forest, peatbog, savannah, or ocean will, if it is dimensionally constant, contain the same amount of ageing, dead and decaying organic ...

  • Opinion

    Letters: October 2010


    Caroline Toland’s reply to the career-change question posed by an academic (Chemistry World, September 2010, p72) is perfectly sound advice but there are some issues that need addressing. The first question an employer will ask is why it has taken 10 years to discover he/she doesn’t enjoy academic life? He ...

  • Opinion

    Letters: September 2010


    It was interesting to read Matt Brown's article on the liaison between Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and Cornell

  • Opinion

    Letters: August 2010


    I was interested to read Philip Ball’s piece on the automated future of chemical crystallography, based on work at St Andrew’s University, Scotland, UK, to develop an entirely automatic diffractometer capable of ’flexible thinking’ designed to mimic the thought process of a crystallographer (Chemistry World, June 2010, p34). While this ...

  • Opinion

    Letters: July 2010


    Like Pickard (Chemistry World, May 2010, p40), I am disappointed that the BBC did not find a chemist to present Chemistry: a volatile history, but I am not amazed that a physicist, Jim Al-Khalili, ’made an excellent job of it’. After all, chemistry is a physical science. The Royal Society ...

  • Opinion

    Letters: June 2010


    German Chancellor Angela Merkel received the Royal Society's King Charles II medal

  • Opinion

    Letters: May 2010


    The challenge for chemical sciences

  • Opinion

    Letters: April 2010


    I was quite outraged to see the article about the ’golden age of trickery’ surrounding alchemy (Chemistry World, February 2010, p80). David Jones perhaps does not know, or has failed to research, the fundamentals of the sulfur, mercury and salt that are the core of alchemy. He does not appear ...

  • Opinion

    Letters: March 2010


    The headline Nuclear waste research resurface s (Chemistry World, January 2010, p12) better profiles my concerns than I could have imagined. In my opinion, and subject to an understanding of tolerability of risk, no toxic material should ever be left to the vagaries of uncertain isolation and abandonment. The public ...

  • Opinion

    Letters: February 2010


    Source: © BETTMANN/CORBIS C P Snow - author, physicist, diplomat C P Snow, the subject of Mathew Waugh’s ’Last retort’ (Chemistry World, December 2009, p88), knew and greatly admired J Desmond Bernal. Snow’s first novel The Search (1934) included a character modelled on Bernal and tells the ...

  • Opinion

    Letters: January 2010


    I do not recognise the picture of dug discovery at the ’coal-face’ painted by Clare Sansom and her sources in the article Molecules made to measure (Chemistry World, November 2009, p50) I worked at Roche UK (Roche Research Centre, Welwyn Garden City, Herts) as a young medicinal chemist in the ...

  • Opinion

    Letters: December 2009


    So now (post 30 September 2009) you can’t buy sodium chlorate weedkiller, ostensibly as the result of a Brussels directive. Apparently it is too toxic. Or is it that it can be used as an oxidant in terrorism? (But I understand the commercial product contains fire suppressants, and in any ...

  • Opinion

    Letters: November 2009


    I read Microwaving myth s (Chemistry World, October 2008, p40) and subsequent letter by Frank Smith, a pioneer in microwave-assisted reactions (Chemistry World, July 2009, p39). It appears that 1985 was the beginning of microwave-assisted chemical reactions based on Smith’s as well as our published work. Our group ...